Humza Yousaf has hit out at Sir Keir Starmer after he praised Margaret Thatcher.
The Labour leader said the former Conservative prime minister “sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.
But Mr Yousaf branded Sir Keir’s comments as “an insult” to mining and industrial communities in Scotland.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Scottish First Minister and SNP leader said: “What Thatcher did to mining and industrial communities was not ‘entrepreneurialism’, it was vandalism.
“Starmer praising Thatcher is an insult to those communities in Scotland, and across the UK, who still bear the scars of her disastrous policies.”
Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir made the remarks in an apparent bid to woo Tory voters ahead of the next general election.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he said: “Every moment of meaningful change in modern British politics begins with the realisation that politics must act in service of the British people, rather than dictating to them.
“Margaret Thatcher sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism.”
The Labour leader has been ridiculed by Conservative MPs over his comments, while the praise of the former Tory PM has infuriated some on the left of his own party.
Baroness Thatcher – who died in 2013 – presided over a privatisation agenda during her time in Downing Street in the 1980s which saw the decline of industry in Scotland, including coal mining and steel working.
Her administration has long been maligned by those on the left of the political spectrum.News Related